Europe appoint McGinley as 2014 Ryder Cup captain
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – Paul McGinley was chosen Tuesday as Europe’s Ryder Cup captain for 2014 and the first from Ireland, ending a messy campaign that included a late challenge from former captain Colin Montgomerie.
The European Tour’s tournament committee in Abu Dhabi made the unanimous decision after a nearly three-hour meeting. It considered several names including Montgomerie, Sandy Lyle, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Paul Lawrie before settling on McGinley. A smiling 46-year-old Irishman was presented at a press conference alone. He replaces Jose Maria Olazabal, who led the team in a comeback victory in October.
“To lead the cream of the crop in the Ryder Cup is going to be a huge honour,” McGinley said. “To be quite honest it is a very humbling experience to be sitting in this seat. It is a week I’m looking forward to. It’s a whole new experience for me, the chanced to be a captain.”
Montgomerie, who had earlier said it would be a dream to captain the team in his home country of Scotland, left without making a comment.
The decision ended a chaotic few days in which Darren Clarke pulled out of the consideration for the position, preferring to concentrate on his own game. His decision prompted Montgomerie to launch his late campaign for the job which, in turn, sparked a stream of support for McGinley on Monday from the continents stars.
“I read and followed every word that went down the last few weeks, I have to say, and watched with interest. Like a yo-yo, my chances seemed to go up and down and up and down,” the soft-spoken McGinley said. “It’s also a situation I’m relishing and I can’t wait to get into the role of being the captain, working with the players, particularly the players that have shown such huge support for me obviously in the last few weeks.”
Thomas Bjorn, chairman of the players’ committee, said all the names were discussed thoroughly and that the committee was 100 percent behind McGinley in the end.
“We made the right decision. Our players on Tour wanted us to make this decision, and we listened to our players and that’s who we represent,” said Bjorn, who joined McGinley at the news conference.